Molasses Crumb Cakelets

Molasses Crumb Cakelets

January 1, 2015

Molasses seems like a substance that emanates from the earth itself: a gooey, gummy lava flow that’s been cooking underground for millenia. But that’s not the truth of molasses. While it’s true that it’s old (dating back to the mid 1500’s), it is no longer the ubiquitous sweetener in our daily lives. It is usually the support for cinnamon, allspice, mace, ginger and the rest, but it’s not often a featured flavour by itself. So when I tasted the Molasses Crumb Cakelet, I felt as though I tasted molasses for the first time, since there were no other flavours to distract me. There is nothing delicate about it–slightly bitter and a little earthy with a dark, spicy sweetness that intrigues me. Now I have a different appreciation of molasses.

My first reaction to them was they were odd, as the flavour was intense, and maybe they were too moist, or greasy, or I don’t know what. But after a few days, the moisture seemed to even out, and the strength of the molasses settled down. I also realized that I was developing a palette for these tiny punch-you-in-the-face cakes. I mean that it took me a few days to give up my preconceived notions of what molasses should taste like, and accept their simplicity. I learned something here and am happy with the experience.

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Instructions

CRUMB TOPPING

  • I’ve never made a crumb topping that wasn’t crunchy and buttery, so this blend of flour, sugar, salt and oil was very different. It was easy enough to make and it came together easily.
Crumb topping.
Crumb topping.

MAKE THE BATTER

  • Again, using the crumb as part of the batter and then pouring boiling water over the whole thing, was a method I’d ever seen. It seemed to fly in the face of everything I understood about how temperature ofthe ingredients always dictates the final structure, but I’m here to learn and I certainly learned with this recipe.
Adding the liquid ingredients.
Adding the liquid ingredients.

FILL THE CUPS

  • Here I didn’t follow the weight specification that Rose suggested because I wasn’t sure if my mini cups were the exact same size as hers so I just poured the batter to about ¾ full.
The cups ¾ full.
The cups ¾ full.
Sprinkling the crumb.
Sprinkling the crumb.
  • And, baked it until they were firm to the touch.

UNMOLD AND STORE

  • The cakes unmolded without any stress as I had sprayed each cup with baking spray. Too much I think, because I think the cakes took on some bitterness from it.
Molasses Crumb Cakelettes, The Finer Cookie.
Molasses Crumb Cakelettes, The Finer Cookie.
  • With all the moisture in these cakes, their shelf life is quite amazing. They go and go without getting stale or tasting old. I think they get better with age, frankly.
Molasses Crumb Cakelettes, The Finer Cookie.
Molasses Crumb Cakelettes, The Finer Cookie.

WHAT ARE THE ALPHA BAKERS? : Here’s how it works: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s newly published The Baking Bible. Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our like and dislikes. The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone is baking the same recipe at the same time. No recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers The Baking Bible posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but if you love to bake, this is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/.

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